Lifestyle Gardening: Tips to make dining and entertaining in the garden festive and romantic

by Shea Homes Arizona on March 2, 2012

With cooler weather with us for another month or two, it’s time to get out and enjoy it!  There’s nothing quite so relaxing as beautiful, intimate outdoor garden spaces in which to rest, have a morning cup of coffee, dine or entertain.  Creating these garden rooms is a rewarding activity that combines a bit of design fun with healthy exercise, resulting in a “well-furnished garden” to delight your family and friends.

In Arizona, March and April are perfect times to start planting again. The trend today is to combine the horticultural, plant focused aspects of gardening with the addition of architecture and ornamentation.  Thinking of the garden in this broader sense, we consider the impact of garden enclosures, trellises and pergolas, changes of grade, decorative features such as sculpture and planters, water features and lighting. 

When you think of your home landscape as a natural extension of your indoor living space, exciting possibilities emerge. 

Getting started is easy.  Grab paper and pencil and your digital camera and take a tour of your own backyard. First give some serious thought to how you use your outdoor space now, and what delightful activities you might want to add. 

  • Are there kids and pets who need room to play and run?
  • Is a kitchen or vegetable garden high on your priority list?
  • Do you have stretches of space that might be designed into outdoor areas for cooking, dining and entertaining?
  • Is privacy or screening an issue?
  • Would you like a water feature?
  • How much entertaining do you do, or could you do with an inviting outdoor party area? 

We can help! As you study your home landscape, jot down your ideas, make a wish list and take pictures.  Then pay a visit to your local nursery.  Oftentimes we think of nurseries for our purchasing needs, but many are also eager to help you plan your outdoor creations.

Potted gardens offer instant drama. While you’re planning the creation of outdoor rooms, don’t overlook the immediate design impact you can create with planters, urns and other potted garden features.  Potted gardens offer instant gratification and are a stunning way to “decorate” for an outdoor dinner, family celebration or any special event. 

Select multiple, matching or compatible planters.  Choose a color scheme that suits your planned event.  Perhaps shades of pink, yellow and apple green for a wedding or baby shower; red, white and blue for summer holidays; all white for an elegant cocktail party under the stars.

Themed planters in non-traditional containers can add real pizzazz to your entertaining.  For example, one local nursery helped a bridesmaid fill up pots, pans and tea kettles with a profusion of herbs as special center pieces for a kitchen shower.  Trimmed with other kitchen utensils as accents, they were the highlight of the shower.  The happy bride went home with a complete kitchen garden along with her new set of pots and pans.

The key is to get creative!  When you use your imagination to combine the outdoors with the indoors, the possibilities are endless!

What are some ideas you have for outdoor entertaining while the weather is nice?  We’d love to hear from you!

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